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Showing up for yourself

For over two decades, I’ve been helping people set goals. Whether I was working with clients on probation or coaching entrepreneurs building communities, there has always been a common hurdle. This might sting a bit.

When it comes to setting goals and achieving them, we are great at coming up with excuses. I don’t have the money. I don’t have the time. I’m not gifted enough. I don’t have many followers. I didn’t get the degree. It’s already been done.

As difficult as it might be to hear, it isn’t usually that thing, and the excuse you’re making is just that — an excuse. Plenty of artists and business owners learn to create in spite of tremendous hurdles and obstacles. If you need proof, check out A Beautiful Constraint. It’s recommended reading for altMBA participants for good reason.

It’s us. We get in our own way. If we ask enough questions and peel back the layers, eventually the excuses can’t stand. You owe it to yourself to show up for yourself and your dreams. Ten minutes a day can build momentum that spills over into other areas of your life. A daily journaling practice can help you find the courage and confidence to work on a business plan. A daily doodle can lead to a finished painting. Weekly blog posts can become a book.

Make a promise to yourself to show up, even if it is for five minutes. If you need help getting started, Amie McNee has generously put together a list of 31 prompts to inspire you to put pen to paper. 

Let me know how it goes.

Ins and Outs for a New Year

As one year ends and another begins, take inventory of what needs to stay in 2022 and what you’d like to carry with you into the new year. From creative pursuits to relationship goals, make a list of the “ins” that can serve as guideposts as you take on new projects and decide how to spend your time. For creatives, the ability to commit to making art, regardless of the end result, is particularly important. Make art, make bad art, and block anyone who stops you from sharing it. Seek pleasure and imperfection and look for ways to welcome more wonder and magic into your days.

Scarcity mindsets can be left behind, as well as people-pleasing and comparisons. Throw away pressure to publish “content” into the bin, along with tendencies to edit and overedit your work. Writer’s block is a definite out, and the compulsion to shrink and second-guess intuitive decisions can, too, be shoved into a bag and taken outside.

You deserve all that supports you in creating and growing and thriving. Any other rubbish belongs in its rightful place: in the trash.

Happy New Year, my friends.

Give yourself permission

Artists and creators have a real knack for distraction. Seems there’s always another task competing for our attention, or the minute we sit down to work the phone rings.

What if we looked to set ourselves up for success with containers that support our creative process? Do you need to schedule time to create? Set an alarm? Go for a walk?

Anticipate the demands on your attention and energy. What do you need to feel freer to create?

4 steps to change someone’s day

  1. Think of someone you admire or care for.
  2. Choose the medium: email, letter, message, text, napkin. It doesn’t have to be long, but write from your heart.
  3. Share how this person inspires you or what you appreciate about them. Consider including a fond memory.
  4. Close your note with something you’re thankful for.

Your message could change someone’s day (your own, too). I’m curious! Tell me what happens @redheadlefthand.

Go on an Inspiration Walk

  1. Set a timer or alarm for ten minutes. Carry this with you.
  2. Start walking in one direction. Resist the urge to check your phone. Instead, pay attention to your senses: What do you feel, see, hear, smell, taste?
  3. If you struggle to focus, concentrate on your footsteps and notice your feet on the ground. What does the ground feel like? What do you hear as your foot strikes the surface?
  4. When your alarm goes off, return along the same route. See if you notice anything different from your initial journey.
  5. Upon returning to your starting point, set your timer for another ten minutes and write about your experience.

This is an Inspiration Walk.

Note: You’re not walking to solve a problem or cultivate inspiration (though either may occur); you’re walking to walk. Often by focusing on the present, the greatest sources of magic are found…

Tell me what you notice @redheadlefthand.

Own your story

Your value proposition may change.

Your origin story will not.

While small businesses may not have the resources needed to build huge international brands, we HAVE STORIES.

Use those stories. Own them.

Stories connect. They can rally communities, encourage investment, and help people remember who you are and why you’re doing what you’re doing.

Remember: YOU are the secret ingredient as you build your business. Why? Because no one is creating the way you create.

No one builds as you build.

Your uniqueness is an asset.

Want help understanding your story? Reach out.